Culture

Just How Long Has 'Selfie' Been Around, Anyway?

Entrepreneur Staff
Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.
2 min read

Here at Entrepreneur, we're betting that "drone" will be 2014's word of the year, but there are some words that have entered the lexicon and just refuse to let go, like Oxford Dictionary's 2013 honoree, "selfie."

"Selfie" is among more than 150 new words that Merriam-Webster has added to the latest edition of its collegiate dictionary. Only, it's not so new -- Merriam-Webster says the word was first used in 2002.

Some the selfie's contemporaries include "gamification" (coined in 2010), "hashtag" and "tweep" (both 2008), "unfriend" (2003 with the advent of Facebook ) and "crowdfunding" (2006). 

Related: Cringe-Worthy Jargon That Should Be Retired Before 2014

Meanwhile, "catfish" is no longer just the type of fish, but a "person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes," popularized by the 2010 documentary and current MTV series of the same name now in its third season. 

"Fangirl" dates back to 1934, though you can currently find both fanboys and girls having 'all the feels' about their favorite fandoms through their preferred mode of "social networking" (1998), all while avoiding any "spoiler alerts" (1994).   

While the "digital divide," defined as "the economic, educational, and social inequalities between those who have computers and online access and those who do not" was coined in 1996, "big data" first came into play in 1980.

Related: The Two Words Steve Jobs Hated Most

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What's the Secret to the Success of Google, Ikea and Four Seasons? A Dynamic Culture.